fill in the blank friday

1.  My greatest strength is  probably my love for my family and friends  .

2.   My greatest weakness is    sometimes being too nice and sparing someones feelings   .

3.  People always compliment me on     my daughter. she is a mini-me  .

4. If you found me procrastinating you'd probably find me     blogging, reading, or browsing pinterest .

5. The most cozy place in all the world is   my bed .

6. Something new that I tried recently was    rice pudding .

7.  This weekend I would like to   visit my Very Alive father-in-law (in CA) .

Link Up At Laurens!

did you know...

Did You Know...
That Easter is in one week and two days.
Did You Know...
That in now way, shape, or form am I actually ready for the festive event.
Did You Know...
That I barely have any Easter decorations in my home. In fact, I barely have any Spring Time decorations in my home.
Did You Know...
I need to win this giveaway over at my sweet long time friend's blog.

Now Ya Know! 
Go over and enter her giveaway. Seriously, she has the BEST decorating style. You'll LOVE her blog!


Cliffnotes: My life took a huge turn during my vacation week. I'll share more later. I'm thoroughly exhausted.

Heard this song today and instantly made me think of this Cosby episode... one of my all time fav's.... Enjoy!

in case you didn't know already...

i absolutely love Love LOVE Sophia Grace and Rosie!

music monday

Been waking up to this song almost every morning.

music monday

Gearing up for The Hunger Games coming to theaters March 23

spring break looks more like winter

Saturday. 3:40am. We began the 12+ hour journey to Mountain Retreat in Northern California. I absolutely LOVE road trips and this one was by far one of the absolute best I've ever had! The kids had no idea where we were going or how long it would take to get there. We saw So.Much.Country that we were all in such a great mood! None of that "Are We There Yet" or "She's Poking Me" or "He's Bugging Me". It truly was great. 

When we arrived, it was snowing. We checked in, and then hurried back down the hill two miles to the cute little grocery store in the cute little town of Arnold, CA. We got back, had a little meal, and relaxed in front of the wood burning fire until our eyes became sleepy and we went downstairs to our bedrooms.

When we woke up... it had snowed. Alot. And it was magical.
By far, one of my most favorite things in the world is to wake up to a world covered in white. Seems so peaceful and full of new life, new beginnings. Where anything is possible.

Today we are headed back into town for some snow shoes and bibs for the kids, and some sleds. The kids are so excited about all this snow, the first thing they did was go out and have a snowball fight and make a mini snowman on our main floor back patio. My plans are to stay as dry and as warm as possible, but also get some really great photos and do a lot of reading by the fire.

I'll be updating more frequently on Twitter and Facebook (if you wanna follow me there).

When I get back I'll post a bunch of photos and give you all the deets of our winter-like spring break!

13 years

Happy 13th Anniversary, Hubs! 

music monday

This video has touched my heart. I needed to share.

fill in the blank friday

1.  My favorite room in my home is     the family room    because     it is where the fam all hangs out, watches movies, plays games, and all that jazz  .

2.   My current decor style is   comfy semi-country lived in .  but I wish it were more     modern... in the sense that it was more up to date and trendy .

3.  I wish I could redecorate the     the formal living and dining room   room in my house to make it more      than just a room with no furniture for nearly 7 years now. lol.

4. My dream house absolutely has to have a   fireplace, a gourmet kitchen, a large two-person shower in the master bathroom along with a large soaking tub, a detached casita, pool and spa, on at least an acre of land. Too specific? lol .

5. One house item I am willing to splurge on is   a new TV... I think we are the last person in America with an old school large boxy big screen TV, ugh .

6. A decor trend that I just don't "get" is   fake or dressed up animal mounts. If you're anti hunting or whatever, don't put up a cardboard deer, or paint antlers and hang them, or what really gets me is the mounts that people dress us with hats and jewelry. Have some respect for that animal. He did not die for your mocking him, we hang our 'trophies' to respect that animals life and thank it for feeding our families. Sorry, mini rant there.

7.   Candles and Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works   is a little touch that makes my house feel like home

Link Up At Lauren's!

i really was his sunshine

If you don't know by now, then you must be new to le'blog. 
I was my Daddy's Sunshine. 
It was the first song he ever sang to me. 
It was my nickname, just mine and his.
It is special. 
Now that he is gone, it is even more special.

That is why I am trying to win this:
Jewelry from Lisa Leonard
Giveaway Contest from Casey Wiegand

If I don't win...
someone who loves me very much could always buy it for me.
Look... I even have a coupon code:
 coupon code connect20 for 20% off anything in the shop!! It expires March 15, 2012

I really was his Sunshine.

riding dirty

So, this weekend the hubs and I took the Rhino out and went on a ride that we've wanted to do since we bought our Rhino (nearly three years ago). 
We went out with a group... the hub's Grandpa and our neighbor rode in one Razr, the hub's best friend Ry and his friend were in another Razr, and the hub's other friend Tommy rode his Quad. 
The weather was absolutely beautiful, but it was chilly. There was still snow on the ground!
It was a really fun ride, and I enjoyed watching the scenery change from saguaro cactus to pine trees. Once we arrive at our destination, the Crown King Saloon, we all sat and had a few well deserved (and desired) beers with some yummy lunch.
(I need this sign)
It was such a great day, such a great ride. I can't wait to go again... we'll take the kids next time. 

What did you do this weekend? Did you get outside and enjoy the weather?

fill in the blank friday

1.  The highlight of my week was   Daytona 500.

2.   If I had to classify my interior design aesthetic it would be   homey and lived in, aka the opposite of a model home's decor.

3.  My first vehicle was   a 1990 Nissan Maxima.

4. An item I need to have in my day in order to function is  coffee in the morning and my cappuccino protein shake later in the day.

5. My favorite way to waste time is  playing Dream Zoo on my phone. Damn that game.

6. Right now I could really go for   a cupcake.

7.  This weekend I will be  riding and watching Nascar.

Link Up At Lauren's!

you think you know, but you have no idea...

So, it's been quite blog popular... the list of 11 things... 11 things that you may not know about me.
I was tagged by the sweetest of girlies... Miss Carrie... so here goes!

There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things about you.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

One. I worked in my high school library. I know, it wasn't the 'cool' thing to do, and most people who got put into the position just ditched class. But I honestly and truly loved it. I had an entire wall shelf that was mine to keep in order. I loved filing the cards back into the card catalog, I would organize other shelves just for fun. I would secretly write silly notes and stick them in books, like 'You're cute' or 'Smile' or 'Be Nice'. I liked going in the 'confidential area' in the back where they kept all the yearbooks from the very beginning of the school... like in the early 1900s where there was less than 20 students in a graduating class. I guess it fit my love for organization and gave me something to appreciate... books!

Two. I have a slight obsession with panties. Not in a sick and twisted way. More like in a 'I have to own all the cutest panties from Frederick's and Victoria's Secret' way, which take up (now) two drawers in my room. And also I have to match my underwears to my clothes. For example, if I'm wearing a black and white sweater, I'll probably have some black and white zebra and lace thongs, or black with white polka dots. I never never wear granny panties (unattractive, full bottom covering). And... I don't call them 'panties' or 'underwear'... I call them chonies. (It's a Mexican thing).

Three. I am scared of the dentist. The last time I went to a dentist was because I had a tooth crumble in the back of my mouth, and I absolutely had to go. It took me nearly 15 minutes to get the guts to actually walk into the dentist's office, and there were tears the minute he put his pointy thing near my mouth. They had to gas me, and even through all that I was scared straight. I wish they could have knocked me out. Ugh, it's terrible. Even right now, just typing about it is making the hairs on my arms stand up and my ears and ringing. Breathe...

Four. Old music is my favorite. Don't get me wrong, I'll work out to Eminem and Evanescence, I'll sing along to Bruno Mars and Adele, and country music will always be in my heart. But when I get to pick the music, I'll almost always listen to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Billy Holiday, Jimmy Durante, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald... you get the idea. I like old music. Singers and Standards, those are the songs that give my heart wings. It's funny, I know. My boss tells me I listen to Grandma music, and I think there is something really charming about that. I have such a love and appreciation for this kind of music, I can never seem to get enough of it.

Five. I crack my knuckles, all the time. A long time ago, I must have been about 8 or so. I came downstairs and was cracking my knuckles (I had just learned how). My dad was sitting in the formal living room (at the base of the stairs). (Side note, we had peacock couches. I used to think why would someone like this, but now, I wish I had them in my house, because they were truly beautiful). Anyway, I came and sat next to my dad. He told me that cracking your knuckles was a bad habit and that if I continued, my fingers would twist and look like his. He held up his hands so that I could see the twist in his some of his fingers from the tip to the base. They didn't look old, just weird, all twisted and manly. lol. I never did stop, and I still crack my knuckles to this day. In fact I will semi-wake up in the middle of the night, raise my hands in the air and crack them quick. I know, so weird. And my fingers, well... they do twist, just like my dad's did, except mine fingers are feminine and manicured. But I'll tell you a secret, I like my twisted fingers. They remind me of that day with my dad. I have my fathers hands. That makes me smile.

Six. I grew up Mexican. lol. So, if you didn't know, I'm a half bean. My mom is Mexican, my dad was white (or rather, German and some other things). Like most typical Mexican families, my mom was one of five. We grew up with lots of cousins, lots of family, all the time. Parties and holidays and family gatherings. There was always something to celebrate. Our parties always had homemade pinatas (these things were built better than most houses, and damn near unbreakable, even by several adults). For really special parties (like graduations) and at funerals, we always had live mariachi's. Traditionally the weekend after Thanksgiving we always made tamales. And I mean, hundreds and even thousands. We operated in an assembly line, and even the kids had a job (drop the olive in the center of the red chile tamales). When we stayed with my Grandma Eva, we used to have to sit and watch her novellas, all in Spanish. And every Saturday night we watched Sabado Gigante (I still turn to that show even now, and watch for a little bit. Reminds me of Grandma's). And, we attended a Spanish speaking Southern Baptist church every Sunday that we were at Grandma's. (She was in the choir, the loudest one). You always knew the Carlton girls were there, because they would speak Spanglish so that my sister and I could understand. (Ooooh, oooh. oooh... I once got up in front of the congregation and sang a Christian song... in Spanish! And I still sing it to this day! lol) Here's the funny part. I can understand, or better, grasp a conversation in Spanish (in fact, when my Grandma would speak to us in Spanish, I could understand everything she said) but I can't speak it back. Weird. Oh, also... almost everyone is named Jesse or Art in my family.

Seven. I enjoy long drives, by myself. This is something that I am sure I have inherited from my parents. When we were kids, my parents always took us on Sunday Drives. They were so boring, but it was something to do, and I always remember my parents holding hands in the front seat, and enjoying the drive. Now, as an adult, I love doing the same thing. I like to drive places I've never been, roads less traveled. Driving alone leaves me with myself, my own thoughts. Time and space to figure things out. I love this time, especially after an argument. Once, when I was 17 and I had just gotten into a huge argument with my boyfriend, I drove all the way (from the Inland Empire) to Carlsbad... then took PCH 1 all the way up the California coast to Seal Beach. It was glorious!

Eight. I have scoliosis. This may not be all that surprising, but living with it is actually more difficult than you would think. First of all, nothing is straight, or even, or balanced in your entire body, from the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head. Both sides are stacked completely different from the other, and depending on where the discrepancies are, you can have mild to moderate to sometime severe pain. It is important to take care of yourself. Chiropractic and massage are important, maintaining a healthy weight is key, and good posture and footwear are necessary. It's not something that goes away, or gets better. It's something that you live with, and with proper care keep it from progressing rapidly.

Nine. I don't eat eggs or drink milk. As long as I can remember, I have not liked eggs or milk. And to be quite honest, I didn't eat tomatoes or bananas either. So, here is whats funny about all this. I don't like bananas, but I like banana bread, banana chips, banana pancakes, bananas in my smoothies. I don't like tomatoes, but I like salsa and chunky pasta sauce and my new favorite, caprese salad. I will not drink milk. Yuck. But, I'll have milk with my cereal... very little though, just enough to get everyone in my bowl wet. lol. Eggs, I have tried and tried and tried to eat them, I know the benefits. I have grown up eating them in chorizo and egg burritos (there's that Mexican again) but have not been able to eat them otherwise. Recently, I've been making a super huge effort to like them. I can tolerate them hard boiled and the whites chopped up small and added to a salad. I have even been able to (literally) choke down two deviled eggs, equaling one whole egg. And the hubs made me an omelet of  sorts, two egg whites loaded with peppers and onions and jalapenos and topped with Greek yogurt, and I got that down. I'm truly making efforts to get over my food issues. 

Ten. I don't play sports, I cheer for them. Growing up I never played in any sports, like soccer or softball. I always wanted to be a cheerleader. I think I was 6 or 7 when I first started cheering. It was through the city recreational program. I cheered with them every year until I made the flag team in junior high, then went on to cheer my freshman and sophomore year in high school. I didn't make the team my junior year and to this day I can still feel the pain in my heart. For me, my life took a left turn there. But still to this day, I watch Cheerleading competitions of TV and (here's a little secret) I even check out cheer competition videos on you tube once in a while. lol, super dork.

Eleven. Monday Night Football is sacred to me. I love my football, everyone knows this. So why is Monday Night Football so sacred to me. When I was a kid, when all I cared about was cartoons and riding my bike, my dad would have to bribe my sister and I to give up the TV and leave him alone so he could watch Monday Night Football. What this meant to my sister and I, was that every Monday Night, Daddy would come home with two happy meals from McDonald's. Every. Monday. Night. Man, that was sure special to us. And this is how cool my parents were. Even after football season was over, we would still get treated to happy meals from McDonald's. This tradition lasted nearly until I moved out. lol. When I had my own kids, I did the same for them. Bribe them with McDonald's every Monday Night. lol, until the hubs and I got health-smart and realized exactly how bad McDonald's is (that's a total other story). The point is, Monday Night Football is sacred to me, because my dad made it special.

Whew. Did you make it through all that? Well Wait! There's MORE!

(These are the questions to me from Carrie)

1. What is the last concert you went to?
Oh geez, it's been a while. I think it was Toby Keith with my mother-in-law and her friends. 

2. How many rooms/bathrooms are there in your house and who do you share your home with?
We own a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with a loft (that could be turned into another bedroom if need be). I live with the hubs, the two chitlins, and one chocolate lab.

3. If you could listen to only three CDs for the rest of your life, which three would you pick?
Ooooh, this is a hard one. Probably Frank Sinatra : Greatest Hits, Casting Crowns : Lifesong, and (oh the pressure) it's a toss up between Maroon 5 : Songs About Jane and Adele : 19.

4. What is your all-time favorite movie?
Just one! Man, these are tough! Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

5. If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
My Dad. Without question.

6. What is your favorite number? Any particular reason why?
21. Not because it's trendy and cool. Because I was due September 21st, I was born on August 21st, and when I turned 21 I was already a home owning mother of two, it felt backwards to finally be legally allowed to drink alcohol.

7. What is your all-time favorite song?
You Are My Sunshine, sung preferably by my Dad. But I love Bette Midler's version in the movie Beaches.

8. Did you participate in any extra-curricular activities in high school?

9. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Mushrooms! And pineapple.

10. What is your favorite retail store to shop in?
Kohls. I'm a goddess in Kohls. My best purchase yet was a pair of chic nude pumps for $6.00... that's $3.00 a shoe! hehe

11. Where is the coolest place you've ever visited?
Hanalei Bay on the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. My own personal heaven.

Okay, my turn to make up the next 11 questions...
1..  If you had to paint your entire house one color, what would it be?
2.. What dish do you order from your favorite restaurant?
3.. Do you have a daily ritual?
4.. What is your favorite book?
5.. If you had a plane ticket to anywhere, where would you go?
6.. What is your dream job?
7.. In the movie of the story of your life, who would you cast as you?
8.. Are you a dog person, or a cat person?
9.. Do you have a favorite artist? 
10..  If you could have the voice of anybody, who would it be?
11.. What is your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Onto the tagging.... (drumroll please)

I tag... Jamie ... Kristin... and Gina!

Nascar Season is finally here
I was so excited for the new 2012 Nascar season to kick off at the Daytona 500 this past weekend, but rain delay won over, and for the first time in the history of Nascar, the Daytona 500 was rescheduled for Monday evening. And it did not disappoint! 
* Danica Patrick made it to her first Daytona 500, a female face for Nascar
* Beginning of the second lap a huge wreck, taking out some big names like Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon
* 10 cautions in all
* Juan Pablo Montoya ran into a jet drying vehicle. I've never seen anything like it ever before. 200 gallons of jet fuel burning on the track. Took nearly 2 hours to clean up.
* Dale Earnhart Jr raced Matt Kenseth (who happens to be the hubs' driver) to the finish line. Super exciting.
* Kyle Bush (my driver) came in 17th place. At least he finished the race!

This Sunday... Nascar is in Phoenix!!
© something Big is coming...
Maira Gall